For many of us, prayer raises more questions than answers. Does it even work? Am I doing it right? Am I using the right words? How can I know God is even listening?
Jesus’ early followers had similar questions about prayer, but they saw something different in Jesus. Jesus prayed with a confidence, closeness, and comfort that His disciples found mesmerizing. So, they asked Jesus to teach them to pray like He prayed. They wanted to know what He knew.
And so in Luke 11 and here in Matthew 6, Jesus gave his disciples what we now call The Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer that turns the world upside down, and it might turn our lives upside down too…if only we will let it.
In this sermon, we’re focusing on the first sentence which contains three key phrases: Our Father… in heaven… hallowed be your name.
- Our Father: In this phrase, Jesus is saying that you can come to God in the same way that He does, as a beloved son or daughter. You can come to God like a little child, running into her daddy’s arm. Because in Jesus, orphans become children of God.
- In the Heavens: This phrase It speaks to both God’s transcendence (high and exalted) and immanence (pervasive and close). The Heavens are where God resides, where Angels serve, and where Saints adore. But earthly, unclean, sinners – we belong here, and dare not venture into the heavenlies. And yet Jesus is saying we have access to “Our Father in the Heavens,” because in Jesus, sinners become saints. Here’s the Gospel reality: if Jesus is your Savior and Lord, your great high priest who has passed through the heavens, then you are raised up with him and are seated with Him in the heavenly places, and you now have the same access Jesus has to the throne room of heaven! Jesus is teaching us: “In me… in my Kingdom… you are Saints seated in the heavenlies.”
- Hallowed be Your Name: To hallow, means to sanctify, to treat as holy, sacred, and set apart. To hallow a name is to esteem a person’s honor, upholding the credit that is due their name. So, when we pray “Hallowed be Your Name” we are praying that God would be believed, obeyed, feared, and glorified by everyone everywhere as He rightfully deserves. In Jewish tradition, the priests were the ones responsible for ensuring that God’s name was hallowed; they were the stewards of the holiness of God. But in Jesus, commoners like us become priests. Here’s the Gospel reality: If Jesus is your Lamb that was slain, you are priest in the Kingdom of God. You are sanctified, holy, and set apart for the purpose to hallow the name of God.
Takeaways: Your Father delights in hearing your voice.
Has it ever occurred to you that God actually wants to hear from you?
Watch the Living the Message episode about this sermon: https://youtu.be/cQtxKBwjBEA
Questions about the sermon can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.